uccelletto beans
Uccelletto beans. Recipe.

Beans All’ Uccelletto . Recipe. Our non-Italian speaking friends will excuse us if we keep the name of this recipe in its original Italian version.

It would be very difficult to translate close to the original meaning (at least for us).

Ancient Tuscan dish - at the bottom of our post I report the recipe (384) by Pellegrino Artusi and its translations -, based on cannellini beans, tomatoes and sage, is considered a contour (paired with meat dishes such as sausages and stews): often consumed also as a single dish, maybe accompanied by a good glass of Tuscan wine.

This recipe of the poor tradition was born as entirely vegetable. Only later, in some areas of the region it has been enriched with cured meats, such as rigatino.

Origin of the name is uncertain. Many associate this recipe with the way of cooking "uccelletti" during the hunting season, very similar both in the ingredients, – starting for example with sage – both in the long ways of cooking.

Cannellini beans

The bean recipe all’uccelletto has been passed down in Tuscan families for generations.

Today, Maybe, the rhythms of daily life, sometimes do not coincide with the preparation of this dish for which calm and time are fundamental ingredients.

Slow and sweet baking of beans is the secret of this dish: legumes should not boil and move internally to the cling pot.

“Farmers used to put beans on cannellini buckets in a pot full of water, covered with a lid and closed in the oven off still hot, the slow stypiding of the oven was enough to cook them”.

Sarteano - Oil Evo Castello delle Moiane - Az. Agr. Boccalacian
I followed Grandma's recipe [by Sarteano (Yes)] of my husband. Grandma was born at the end of 1800.

First rule (Grandmother): beans and all legumes must be cooked in the terracotta pot (Crock). Scents and flavors will be enhanced.

Everywhere my mother-in-law had snzel teases and traditionally we use the brand Vulcania (Siena) in our homes.

Second (My): If you want to eat well, you only have to use good products. This rule did not once exist because the ingredients were naturally good..

This summer during our usual tour to Sarteano and in the Lands of Siena, we bought some beans cannellini (Dried) really good and also, in the Oil Mill Casagni by Sarteano , my husband refueled throughout the autumn/winter period of excellent Extra Virgin Olive Oil of the Farm Boccalaciana .

Ingredients for 3 People:
  • 300 GR. of beans cannellini Dried: I used the cannellini beans of the Farm Il Ciliegio by Monteriggioni (SI) .
  • 2 cloves of garlic. But I used Tuscanglione della Valdichiana ( 1/2 clove of a large garlic head)
  • 2 / 3 sage leaves (grown on my terrace)
  • 300 GR. canned tomatoes (this summer I prepared the peeled tomatoes to store throughout the cold period)
  • extra virgin olive oil (quantum satis)
  • water just enough
  • chilli and/or pepper (the taste)
pro beans with uccelletto

Rinse the dried beans very well under running water.


The night before, put the beans in a bath in a large bowl (I used my pot / piece of coccio Vulcania) , covered with cold water.

The next morning, transfer them with that same water on the fire: the beans will have to be completely covered with water, then possibly add more.

Cook over low heat for about 45 minutes, taking care from time to time to eliminate the foam that will form on the surface.

Drain, keeping aside the #8217;cooking water.

In a large pan (I used a piece of snzel – as by my husband's grandmother's rule), gently brown the cloves of garlic (that you can remove before bringing to the table) and sage leaves with a drizzle of oil.

Then add the peeled poodies (crushed with the backs of a fork) or tomato puree. Always cook over low heat for a few minutes.

2pro beans with uccelletto


Add, then, beans and adjust salt.

Flavor with chilli or pepper. Combine the cooking liquid of the beans (1 or 2 Ladles).

Cover the pan with a lid and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes, turning from time to time with the ladle. (My husband's grandmother preferred wooden ladles).

Serve by pouring a drizzle of oil over it.

icon green snailBeans All’ Uccelletto can be stored in the refrigerator in special airtight containers for a couple of days.

I've always used the same earthenware pot throughout the process (my husband says this was grandma's custom).

Enjoy your meal

Recipe 384 by Pellegrino Artusi – 1891. We apologize if we do not translate this ancient recipe that we transcribed into its original form.

384 Fagiuoli a guisa d’uccellini – Nelle trattorie di Firenze ho sentito chiamare fagiuoli all’uccelletto i fagiuoli sgranati cucinati così: Cuoceteli prima nell’acqua e levateli asciutti. Mettete un tegame al fuoco con l’olio in proporzione e diverse foglie di salvia; quando l’olio grilletta forte buttate giù i fagiuoli e conditeli con sale e pepe. Fateli soffriggere tanto che tirino l’unto e di quando in quando scuotete il vaso per mescolarli; poi versate sui medesimi un poco di sugo semplice di pomodoro e allorché questo si sarà incorporato, levateli. Anche i fagiuoli secchi di buccia fine possono servire al caso dopo lessati. Questi fagiuoli si prestano molto bene per contorno al lesso, se non si vogliono mangiar da soli” .



Our friends (not Italian speaking) translated versions of Pellegrino Artusi's cookbook can be found by following the link > https://bit.ly/3f4mZX0

You can also consult:

Plate of mushrooms

Sautéed Mushrooms

Sweet and sour onions

Sweet and sour onions

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